Once the lockout ends, expect a flurry of baseball activity. With hundreds of players still free agents, there will be a number of moves leading up to spring training.
The Dodgers will certainly be active. It looks like they’ll still be adding to their bullpen, potentially bringing back a familiar face.
On Wednesday night, free agent Joe Kelly joined David Vassegh on Dodger Talk on AM 570. Kelly answered questions from fans who called in. Before answering questions about managing his son’s little league team and what his In-N-Out order is (a 3x3 cheeseburger with animal fries) he answered a question regarding his future with the Dodgers.
“Obviously I want to come back and be a Dodger,” Kelly said. “Interest is mutual so we got to make something happen.”
Sure, that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back. But for Kelly, it sure sounds like he wants to be a Dodger in 2022. He was born and raised in the Inland Empire and loves being home. Plus, he’s managing his son’s little league team. No way he can leave that, right?
Not sure what the Dodgers would be willing to pay him, but it sounds like he’d be willing to take a hometown discount.
Following his World Series win with the Red Sox in 2018, Kelly signed a three-year contract with LA worth $25 million.
This offseason, the Dodgers declined Kelly’s $12 million option for the 2022 season and paid him a $4 million buyout.
Kelly has had quite the tenure with the Dodgers. It’s been filled with injuries, up-and-down performances and of course some unforgettable fan favorite moments.
After a rough 2019 with LA, Kelly really turned a corner over the last two seasons with the Dodgers. Over the last two seasons, Kelly has appeared in 60 games while posting a 2.67 ERA. In addition, he’s posted a 3.16 FIP, 1.07 WHIP and 157 ERA+.
Kelly’s last appearance with the Dodgers was one he’d like to forget. He was the ‘opener’ for Game 5 of the NLCS against the Braves. Kelly allowed two runs in the first inning, but he exited the game with a bicep strain that ultimately ended his postseason.
He provided an update on how his recovery process is going.
“Throwing the ball a few times a week,” he said. “Haven’t gone off a mound yet. Pretty good long toss. Arm is definitely going to be ready for the season.”
It’s great to hear his recovery process is going well and it’s great to hear he’ll be ready to go by Opening Day.
If Kelly returns, it adds another weapon to a Dodgers bullpen that is shaping out to look pretty electric.